New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Ridiculing the Karnataka government scheme to waive farm loans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said it benefited a handful of farmers and the decision will go down in history as one of the “most cruel jokes” on them.
Interacting with BJP booth workers from Belagavi, Bidar, Davangere, Dharwad and Haveri in Karnataka through video conference, the Prime Minister also lashed out at the Karnataka government for the tussle over allocation of portfolios between the JD-S and the Congress ministers and accused them of indulging in corruption while ignoring governance.
“The farmers want attention. But those in power in Karnataka are steeped in arrogance. The common man wants development but those in power want only development of dynasty. People want corruption-free development, but they want development-free corruption,” he said.
The Prime Minister was responding to a query of a party worker from Belagavi who sought to know his views on the plight of farmers and other communities under the Karnatak government.
“What they have done in the name of loan waiver for the farmers will go down in history as one of the most cruel jokes on farmers. After six months in power, reports say the government could only benefit a handful of farmers with the loan waiver scheme. These people go around the country, claim credit for what they have done for the farmers. Will they also take credit for the farmers committing suicide?” Modi said.
His remraks come at a time when the BJP-led government at the Centre, which has a stated goal of doubling farmers incomes by 2022, is planning sops for the farmers as their plight has become a major cause for concern ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress has been portraying Modi-government as “anti-farmer” and had wooed voters in the recently concluded assembly polls in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan with farm loan waivers.
The Congress has promised farm loan waiver in Karnataka. Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, whose JD-S is a Congress ally, in his maiden Budget had announced that Rs 2 lakh farm loan till 2017 will be waived.
During his interaction, Modi also took a jibe at Congress for the ongoing tussle over allocation of portfolios among Congress ministers.
“Everyday there is in news as to who happy and who is unhappy. And for what? For some ministerial posts. It seems as the people in power in Karnataka are only there to play musical chair. The poor want care but those in power are only interested in cabinet berths,” he said.
The Prime Minister said those in power think that just because they have formed a government by hook or by crook, they can get away with anything.
“The people of Karnataka and the people of India are watching. They will soon teach them a lesson,” he said.
He said when those in power have given up all the responsibilities of governance, the BJP’s responsibility towards the people increases.
“In such a situation, it is the duty of our party to voice the aspirations of the people and wake up the government. When those in power are not interested in the welfare of the people, it is the duty of our ‘karyakartas’ to become the voice of the people,” he said exhorting the party workers ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
During his interaction, Modi also touched upon several key issues concerning the people of Karnataka and the country at large.
Comparing the state of affairs in Karnataka with rest of the country under the BJP-led governments, he described numerous measures and initiatives taken by his government in sectors like MSMEs, tourism and education that have transformed these sectors.
Concluding his wide-ranging interaction at Haveri, he talked about the approach of his youth-led governance policies having four core elements, a 4E approach — Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Excellence.
“Such a multi-level approach addresses the main issues that the youth of our country are faced with and empowers them to succeed in life,” he said.